Mining companies advised to revisit vehicle hazard plans

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has reported a near-collision at an open cut coal mine in New South Wales, urging mining companies to review their hazard management plans.

A light vehicle and a haul truck almost collided at an intersection when the drivers took evasive action to avoid the incident.

According to the regulator, the light vehicle driver said he did not see the haul truck.

This prompted the safety regulator to urge mining companies to consider factors that might affect operator visibility or ability to control a vehicle.

The regulator stated that this needed to be considered in their hazard management plans for roads or other vehicle operating areas.

“Fog, sunlight, storms or dust obstructions can affect lines of sight,” it stated. 

“Drivers should be reminded to travel at speeds suitable for the conditions. Vehicle operators need to ensure that windscreens are kept clean to aid visibility.” 

The regulator also recommended the use of technology to help manage the risks associated with vehicle interactions, including collision detection and avoidance systems. 

Mining companies are suggested to prioritise the use of visual aids and segregation before relying on procedural controls. 

In Western Australia’s mining industry, 82 surface haul trucks were involved in collisions as either the primary or secondary vehicle during 2015-16, according to data from the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.  

Insurance company Budget Direct revealed that in 2018, nearly 80 per cent of crashes where heavy trucks were involved were classified as multiple vehicle.  

However, only 16 per cent were counted as single vehicle incidents.